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About Judy Riffel

Judy Riffel is a professional genealogist with over thirty-five years experience. Based in Baton Rouge, she specializes in Louisiana records and research.


  • 35+ years experience in genealogy
  • Author of numerous books and articles on Louisiana genealogical records
  • Editor of Le Raconteur since 1984
  • Officer in Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane, Inc. (www.lecomite.org)
  • Recipient of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana's Preservation Award in 2007
  • Researcher for several genealogy and documentary shows on television
  • Lead genealogist in the Georgetown Memory Project

  • Acadian Museum's Order of Living Legends Award in 2019

Research services available

  • Look ups and record copying
  • Genealogical analysis and problem solving
  • Translation of French and Spanish historical documents
  • Specialization in French, Spanish, Acadian and African American research

Geographic area

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and surrounding area

Ethnic specialties

  • French
  • Spanish
  • Acadian
  • African American

Television and Internet

Judy has done genealogical and historical research for numerous television shows and documentaries. Her work has appeared on Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow, The Dead Files, and Killer Profile.

  • Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC) traces the roots of celebrities who travel around the world on a genealogical adventure. Judy has contributed to numerous episodes as a genealogical researcher and translator, and has appeared on camera in one episode.
  • Finding Your Roots (PBS) also explores the family history of celebrities and public figures. Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., presents the findings of a team of researchers to the guest.  Judy has conducted research for several episodes.
  • Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) answers genealogical questions posed by every day people. In preparation for Season 2, Judy worked with the principal genealogists to obtain numerous Louisiana records that were featured on camera. Judy was also among the experts present at the filming of the two New Orleans episodes in 2014.
  • From 2014-2017, Judy co-hosted numerous episodes of a Baton Rouge genealogy show called Roots of Faith: Ancestry. The first 11 episodes on the basics of genealogy are now available on YouTube
  • In 2012 and 2016, Judy was a guest of Bernice Bennett on her BlogTalkRadio show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond. Her 2012 interview, Genealogy Resources in Louisiana with Judy Riffel, can be heard here, and the 2016 interview here.


"I first contacted Judy about twenty years ago when I began my research on Iberville Parish and Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. At that time, all we had here in Houston was Clayton Genealogical Library, downtown Houston, Texas. Here I found a large book she had written entitled, Iberville Parish History. Thanks to her dedication and thoroughness in documenting every last detail of these people's lives, I have completed three volumes of my family history. I'm slowing down now on research at 83 yrs. of age, but what a legacy I'm able to leave my posterity because she continues to share her wide range of knowledge and publications."
  – Mary L. Edwards

"I needed numerous birth records to be retrieved from the Louisiana State Archives, and Judy came to the rescue. She responded to my email request right away and was able to retrieve all needed items the very next day. Not only did she find, copy and electronically transmit everything I needed per my instructions, she took the extra step and called me to let me know about a key fact that she noticed on one of the records. Her conscientiousness in communicating this information helped me to adjust my research plan while onsite at the Family History Library. For all these reasons, I highly recommend Judy for your Louisiana records retrieval."
  – Deena Coutant, Professional Genealogist, DigiDeena Consulting